We’ve certainly been having a lot much fun partnering with Gastronaut and Author Bob Blumer on his new cookbook, Flavorbomb! A few years back, we also teamed up for one of Blumer’s Surreal Dinners in the Napa Valley. On the menu were Blumer’s deceptive and delicious Lamb Cupcakes (recipe in Blumer’s previous cookbook, Glutton for Pleasure).
Considering Blumer was pairing his dishes with wines made by Rob Lloyd, a pescatarian, he pivoted. Our favorite Gastronaut came down to earth and made Rob a variation, Mushroom Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Icing, to pair with the Pinot Noir. As a call back to this tasty memory, Blumer has formalized the recipe as the fourth post in our five-part recipe series.
The artistry of Blumer’s dishes blew me away at that Surreal Dinner – and then I took a bite of his mushroom cupcake. I’ve been a fan ever since!
~ Winemaker Rob Lloyd
Mushroom Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Icing
~ Paired with Lloyd Cellars 2017 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
- 2 Sweet potatoes aka yams
- 4 Tablespoons butter divided
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Cloves garlic minced
- 3 Green onions trimmed and sliced finely
- ½ pound Assorted mushrooms the more exotic the better, stemmed and cleaned of any dirt, then sliced
- 1/4 Red bell pepper diced finely
- 4 Sprigs fresh thyme stems discarded
- 1 oz Brandy or cognac optional
- ¼ cup Panko or bread crumbs
- 1 Egg beaten
- 1 Lemon for zesting
- 2 ounces Goat’s cheese log form, crumbled
- Salt and pepper To Taste
- Vegetable oil spray
- 4 Cupcake liners
- 1 Muffin tin
In a preheated 400F° oven, bake sweet potatoes for 1 hour. Reserve
In a sauté pan over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil. When butter is bubbling, add garlic, green onions, mushrooms, bell pepper and thyme. Sauté for 10 minutes, or until mushrooms are well browned.
Add Cognac to pan, let sit for five seconds and then light a match to it. Flame should burn out after approximately 10 seconds. (Note: keep your distance. If you have a gas stove, be aware that spattering particles will likely cause the alcohol to ignite prematurely as soon as it is poured in the pan. And if you have big hair, keep it under wraps! If flame continues to burn, put it out by placing a lid on the pan).
Transfer contents to a bowl and let cool.
Add panko, egg, zest of the lemon, goat cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly with a fork.
TO FINISH & SERVE
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line a muffin tin with 4 foil or paper liners. Generously spray interior of liners with spray oil. Spoon mushroom mixture into liners. Gently press mixture down and flatten level with the top of the tin.
Just before putting mushroom cupcakes in the oven, spoon sweet potatoes out of their skin, transfer to a mixing bowl, cover with aluminum foil and place it over a pot of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes. When potatoes are steaming hot, add 2 tablespoons butter and a pinch of salt. Blend thoroughly with a fork.
Bake cupcakes for 8 minutes, or until cakes are fully set, yet still moist. Remove cakes from tin immediately so that they do not continue to cook.
Use a piping bag with a star tip, or a table knife to ice the cupcakes with the sweet potato icing.
Vegetable oil spray; cupcake liners; muffin tin (not uncommon, but crucial); piping bag with a star tip (ideal, but not necessary)
The mushroom mixture can be prepared earlier in the day, to the point that the cakes are ready to be baked. Bake and ice just before serving; Sweet potatoes can be made earlier in the day then reheated over a double boiler just before serving.
Lloyd Cellars Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir